Saturday Special – July 9

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Did you get all the fireworks, picnics and parades out of your system last weekend and earlier this week? Ready to get back to business? That’s good, because we are, too and we’ve got a loaded Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal to get you ready.

The Stars and Stripes Festival card that features five stakes at Belmont Park tops the day, while Ben’s Cat is in action at Parx Racing, Million Preview Day unfolds at Arlington Park, 2-year-olds and Firing Line take center stage at Santa Anita Park and marathoners take to the grass at Delaware Park.

Here’s your Saturday Special for July 9. Enjoy and good luck.

Ascot. Race 2. 9:45 a.m. A purse of $147,000 to earn and 5 furlongs to do it. Veteran Jack Dexter has been on a long losing streak, it would be sweet to see him snap it.

Ascot. Race 3. 10:15. Group 2 Fred Crowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes offers Toormore a good chance to erase losses to Tepin and Belardo. Richard Pankhurst makes his long anticipated 4-year-old debut for John Gosden.

York. Race 4. 10:40. Francis Of Assisi reverts to Godolphin and the flat after trying Aintree and Cheltenham for John Ferguson. The Silver Cup Stakes attracts a gallant group of stayers. We’ve liked Shrewd, a son of Street Sense, for a while.

Tipperary. Race 4. 10:45. The Tipperary Stakes offers $51,500 for juveniles.

Newmarket. Race 4. 11:00. The July meeting rolls on with another stellar card. The Group 2 Superlative Stakes attracts a star section of juveniles, including sons of Dubawi, More Than Ready (2), War Front and Frankel.

York. Race 5. 11:15. The John Smith’s Cup collects an eclectic mix, some coming from the jump sphere, others coming from turf sprints.

Newmarket. Race 5. 11:35. Veteran trainer Henry Candy goes double fisted with Twilight Son and Limato in the Group 1 Darley July Cup. Of course, so does Coolmore with Air Force Blue and Washington DC.

Tipperary. Race 6. 11:55. An hour and 10 minutes after 2-year-olds rip 5 furlongs, Grade 3 hurdlers traverse 2 miles in the Grimes Hurdle. Veteran Thousand Stars makes start number 72.

Belmont Park. Race 1. 12:30 p.m. Baby season in New York and $85,000 purse lures field of 10 first-time starters, including an entry from Silverton Hill, going 6 furlongs.

Belmont. Race 3. 1:32. Adulator brook bad and missed hitting the board at 6/5 the day before the Belmont Stakes. He’s certainly better than that, right?

Delaware Park. Race 3. 2:15. Last Resort, third in Belmont allowance last time, stretches out to 11 furlongs for Tom Proctor and Glen Hill Farm. Fellow Fair Hill trainee Guilty Twelve, a winner on synthetic last time at Presque Isle Downs, should relish the added ground.

Belmont. Race 6. 3:20. The Grade 3 Victory Ride gets the stakes action started and it could be a quick start with nice group of nine 3-year-old fillies set to go 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. One big question is how good was the Grade 3 Miss Preakness?

Woodbine. Race 6. 3:41. Sky Marshall, last in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last fall, tries to get back on track in 6-furlong turf allowance against older horses.

Delaware. Race 6. 3:45. Well matched group for $50,000 Dashing Beauty going 6 furlongs. Satan’s Mistress and Valuable Charmer are the only two of the 10 with a win locally, and they’re 10-1 on the line.

Arlington Park. Race 4. 3:49. Time to start prepping for the Beverly D. Here’s the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap. Richard Duchossois wouldn’t mind being represented by one in the Bevery D. and Marypop would get him and trainer Michael Stidham there.

Belmont. Race 7. 3:57. The Grade 3 Dwyer. Saratoga clues abound as 3-year-olds go 1 mile.

Parx Racing. Race 8. 4:04. The ageless Ben’s Cat goes for his fifth graded stakes win – and 33rd overall victory – in Grade 3 Parx Dash. Third last time in Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, Ben’s Cat takes on Jaipur winner Pure Sensation, Churchill Downs Turf Sprint winner Rocket Heat, Power Alert, Pool Winner, Take Cover and Run For Logistics in $200,000 stakes.

Ellis Park. Race 6. 4:10. Why wait for Saratoga two go two turns on the grass? The Pea Patch offers 1-mile turf maiden for 2-year-old fillies.

Delaware. Race 7. 4:15. More Saratoga clues should come from Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial going 11 furlongs on the grass. Suffused relished the added ground in Belmont Coronation last time and concedes weight to all but one of her opponents.

Belterra Park. Race 7. 4:24. Ohio-bred babies sprint for $75,000 in the Hoover Stakes. Seven of the 12 entered are maidens, including a first-time starter.

Belmont. Race 8. 4:38. Big purse of Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational lures the Europeans across the ocean. Long Island Sound, Humphrey Bogart and Deauville – how about those three names? – take on the best 3-year-old turf horses we’ve got here in the U.S. in Camelot Kitten, Airoforce, Surgical Strike, Highland Sky and Call Provision.

Monmouth Park. Race 9. 4:51. Sophomores look to punch tickets to the Haskell Invitational later this month in $100,000 Long Branch. Todd Pletcher sends out three, Grade 2 With Anticipation winner Azar, adjudged Grade 3 Sanford Stakes winner Uncle Vinny and multiple turf winner Unbridled Daddy.

Arlington. Race 6. 4:53. The Pizza Man doesn’t seem to be in the same form as a year ago, when he won the Arlington Million and three other stakes. He’s lost his only two starts this year, albeit with wide trips, and tries to get back on track in Grade 3 Stars and Stripes going 12 furlongs.

Ellis. Race 8. 5:10. Sweet Acclaim just missed in Grade 3 Mint Julep last month and she’s one of two in $50,000 Ellis Park Turf for Brad Cox. The other, King’s Ghost, is 2-for-2 this season on the grass.

Belmont. Race 9. 5:13. Effinex looks to defend title in Grade 2 Suburban after disappointing and wide run in Grade 1 Stephen Foster last month at Churchill. He doesn’t get it easy against the likes of Noble Bird, Mubtaahij, Shaman Ghose and Eagle. Hope some of these come back in five weeks for the Whitney.

Delaware. Race 9. 5:15. Belisarius couldn’t last in deep stretch of Belmont Gold Cup Invitational, but that was 2 miles. Son of Montjeu cuts back to 1 1/2 miles here for the $50,000 Cape Henlopen.

Laurel Park. Race 8. 5:16. Second weekend of summer racing in Maryland. Featured allowance going 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass attracts field of 12 fillies and mares, including Summer Frock, Cowgirl Creed, Town Tart and Smart N Smokin.

Arlington. Race 7. 5:25. Kasaqui was unlucky when he fell in Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Derby Day, then rebounded with game second in Grade 2 Wise Dan. He could take a step forward and punch Arlington Million ticket for owner Diane Perkins and trainer Ignacio Correas in Grade 3 Arlington Handicap.

Delaware. Race 10. 5:45. Big purse and chance to not run against Songbird in Grade 3 Delaware Oaks. Dark Nile comes into $300,000 heat on three-race win streak, but she’ll face graded competitors Kinsley Kisses, Flora Dora and Dreams To Reality. Kinsley Kisses probably rates the edge, with thirds in Grade 3 Beaumonth and Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan.

Belmont. Race 10. 5:46. Well, we know there are no North American-based 3-year-old fillies that can beat Catch A Glimpse on the grass. So what will stop her in Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational? Maybe the 10 furlongs. Maybe the Europeans – Coolmore and Ballydoyle. Those are their names and they represent, well, Coolmore and Ballydoyle.

Arlington. Race 8. 5:57. Funny game, racing. Another big 3-year-old turf stakes on the same day, this the Grade 3 American Derby, which attracts field of 11 led by One Mean Man, Swagger Jagger and Oscar Nominated.

Santa Anita Park. Race 4. 6:00. Firing Line, runner-up to American Pharoah in last year’s Kentucky Derby, makes first start since 2015 Preakness in 1-mile allowance.

Belmont. Race 11. 6:23. Brian Lynch gets his chance to saddle Private Zone after bizarre circumstances before last month’s True North forced him to turn in his license. Private Zone is clear choice for Grade 3 Belmont Sprint Championship, but this is his first start since late November.

Wyoming Downs. Race 9. 6:25. The $5,000 Inaugural Handicap features two 10-year-olds, two 9-year-olds and two 8-year-olds, and entrants bred in Washington, Idaho, Arizona, California, Maryland and Ontario. Now that’s a melting pot.

Santa Anita. Race 5. 6:30. The $125,000 Landaluce attracts field of seven 2-year-old fillies, including impressive first-out winners Chalon, Miss Southern Miss and Theonewewaitedfor.

Santa Anita. Race 8. 8:00. The boys take their turn in $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile. Green With Eddie ran fast in debut against Cal-breds for Doug O’Neill and takes on open company winners Silver Assault, Secret House, Right Hand Man and California Diamond.

Lone Star Park. Race 5. 9:57. Pure Grey whipped field of maidens in off-the-turf event June 15 at Indiana Grand for Steve Asmussen and looks to stay unbeaten in fillies division of $100,000 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity.

Lone Star. Race 6. 10:25. Promise Me Silver, who ran in last year’s Eight Belles, Acorn, Victory Ride and Prioress for Bret Calhoun, is 3/5 favorite for $50,000 Valor Farm.

Lone Star. Race 7. 10:53. Stay up late for the colts and geldings division of Texas Thoroughbred Futurity. Steve Asmussen and owner Clark Brewster – who is also his lawyer – goes for Too Much Bling sweep with Shaded.

Lone Star. Race 8. 11:21. It’s never too late for the $50,000 Assault Stakes. Named for the 1946 Triple Crown winner who was foaled at King Ranch in Texas, the 1-mile stakes looks like good spot for Supermason to get back on track.